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Written on 1st June 2021

Earlier this year Boyes Turner’s specialist mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team secured a five-figure settlement for the estate of the late George Harris* after he was negligently exposed to asbestos during his time working as a heavy moulder.


George worked for Cape Universal Claddings Limited from 1959.  Cape manufactured sheets, drainpipes and guttering made from asbestos. George had exposure to asbestos moulding and cutting sheets of asbestos. These tasks produced a lot of dust and the factory air was constantly thick with asbestos dust.

Whilst working for Cape, George was never provided with any safety equipment to prevent him from inhaling this dangerous dust. The only piece of equipment George was provided with were gloves which were made from the sacks that the asbestos would be delivered in.

The inhalation of this dust over the course of the 25 year period resulted in George being diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2019 and unfortunately he died only 8 weeks after.

An inquest confirmed that the cause of death was consistent with previous exposure to asbestos and so George’s daughter decided to pursue a claim against his former employer.

The Claim

The claim was especially complicated for a number of reasons, however, Melloney Harbutt, a senior associate solicitor in Boyes Turner’s specialist mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team, was able to overcome each of them to secure a settlement for the family.

As George had passed away prior to Melloney’s instruction to deal with the claim, this made it difficult to obtain an accurate account of the working conditions and a description of the materials George was working with. Without this information the claim would be very difficult. However, Melloney was able to speak with George’s brother who worked at the same company at the same time and was able to provide a thorough and detailed description of the working conditions and levels of exposure to asbestos which George would have had all those years ago.

This case was also complicated by the fact that George was previously a smoker, another potential cause of lung cancer, but Melloney was able to obtain supportive independent medical evidence. 

There is a helpful article on our website which discusses pursuing an asbestos related lung cancer claim where there is a smoking history:

There were multi insurers for the defendant company as George’s employment spanned so many years, which complicated negotiations but Melloney tactically submit an offer to the defendant’s insurers which they accepted.

George’s daughter was delighted with the outcome and to have successfully pursued the claim in her dad’s memory.

Melloney acts exclusively for individuals and families affected by asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email at or by telephone on 0118 952 7199.

*anonymised for client confidentiality